Go with the flow: Reveil, Apero, repas, siesta, petanque and calins!
Mon Beau Pere: my step-father passed away

Genou: an injury, a day lily, and good company & a Chocolate workshop in France!

Photo taken in our old stomping grounds of Orange.

CHOCOLATE WORKSHOP! Join two chocolate shop owners in Provence, France & learn how to make chocolates using French techniques. We’ll stay in a medieval village and roam outdoor markets, castles, and more! CLICK HERE.

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TODAY'S WORD: le genou

     : knee

ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word: Download Genou

Notre amie Anne s'est blessée au genou.
Our friend Anne hurt her knee.

Improve your spoken French. Try Pronounce it Perfectly in French or  Exercises in French Phonetics


    by Kristi Espinasse

Anne and Kirk, of Music and Markets Tours, came to visit yesterday. Do you remember them from the post Sobriety Does Not Equal Foolproof Entertaining? Maybe not, as most of the story was focused on those formidable fourmis (ants! and trying to keep ahead of the army which threatened to spoil our lunch here at home).

Well, Anne and Kirk were back! This time for lunch (elsewhere!) at a nearby port. It would be a little challenging for Anne to hike down to the waterfront, as she had injured her knee at an outdoor cinema the other night. But, with her genou now secured by a barrage of Velrco (and looking so pretty in a black and white print dress which matched her knee brace), Anne trooped down to the beach--past scented parasol pine trees, and families picnicking on the pebble beach--for lunch with us at Chez Tonton Ju.


Over carpaccio de boeuf and salade de poisson fumé,  we talked about the recent challenges here at our vineyard--and brainstormed for solutions. Throughout lunch, the couple, who have been married some 40 years, allowed us to vider notre sac, or say what was on our hearts. After, they generously gave examples of their own failures, or échecs--all the while reminding us that what we are going through is not really a failure. That only time could be the judge of that!

Returning to our home, Kirk handed me a gift he had been promising for some time. I looked into the plastic sack and saw a clump of dirt....

"It's the day lily!" Anne smiled.

The famous day lily! The little flower that could! It had made its journey from Kirk and Anne's garden in Virginia--all the way to Aix-en-Provence, where it lived for a time in a quiet courtyard--its leaves caressed each day by the singsong of students rushing to classes--and tourists singing the praises of one of France's favorite towns: The home of Cézanne! The birthplace of our daughter, Jackie! The first garconniere, or bachelor pad, of our son Max. And where I met Jean-Marc, 26 years ago in a nightclub called Le Mistral....

Along with nostalgia, a light breeze swept across our front porch, ruffling our dog, Smokey's whiskers. Standing beside our golden retriever, Kirk got down on his knees to plant the inert clump of dirt, at the base of the grape vine trellis that shades our front porch in summertime. "The day lily will begin to show green shoots, very soon! And the flowers will come out next May or June!" Kirk promised.

"That's almost a year from now...." I whispered. But my next thought I kept to myself, Would the lily be dug up in between time, if our situation changed?

At that moment everything went silent. I guess we were all having the same thought, when suddenly Anne's words swooped in and restored good cheer: "You'd better be here in one year! You are going to see this flower bloom!"

As I finish typing this entry, my eyes are pinched and wet. A blink releases a few unexpected tears. I know the day lily will bloom. The question is where?

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So many uses for these Paris Map Wooden Letters: buy one or many for the kitchen, baby room, bathroom, or for a unique gift. Allow a month for this handmade product, Click here.

I love my new foutas towel and am finding many uses: pareo beach wrap, beach towel, picnic blanket, and instant dressing room (I changed into my swimsuit here on the beach calanque of Figuerolles in La Ciotat, while holding the wrap carefully... Click here to order.

Mon panier. And I have gotten many requests for this market basket. You can find a similar style right here. Be sure to read the reviews. (I had mine custom embroidered in France, with this funny message for Jean-Marc.)


Our 18-year-old, Jackie, keeping her skin protected with a straw hat. More styles here.

Good French moisturizer! My daughter and I continue to use and enjoy this popular French facial moisturizer. Don't miss all the reviews! Click here.

Organic Cover/blemish stick. I use it to cover my facial scars, red rosacea, and to protect my skin from sun damage. It is moist and it smoothes on seamlessly. I sometimes use it in place of base. I love it! I use "ivory" even in summer. But there is "honey" tone too. Click here.

Check out this Paris Peace T-shirt - "so many people have stopped to ask me where I got it" -Betty. Click here

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